A consortium of Alstom and Saft, formed in 2013 in response to a call for tender from EDF, has signed a frame contract with the EDF group to supply an initial energy storage system. It will be based on a containerized battery of lithium-ion cells, the object being to demonstrate the system’s ability to regulate the frequency (and therefore the stability) of the grid. Alstom’s MaxSine eStorage solution, connected to Saft’s Intensium Max 20M storage system, will be installed on EDF R&D’s experimental ‘Concept Grid’, dedicated to the development of grids and smart electrical systems. Located on the EDF site of Les Renardières south of Paris, this is the first installation of its kind in France. The storage system and the power converter will be delivered in late 2014.
To maintain frequency balance in contemporary networks the operator uses the energy available through the primary reserve, mainly from thermal or nuclear power plant operators, by blocking part of their production capacity. Battery storage systems provide producers and grid operators with more flexibility over the energy supply immediately available. In the event of an imbalance between production and consumption, the storage system can either release energy into the grid, or store it, in a few hundred mS. The experiments by EDF R&D will evaluate the ability of such a system to regulate the frequency, and particularly the adjustment potential of the primary reserve.
Under this contract, Alstom and Saft will provide the complete 1 MW/30min energy storage and power conversion system which will also include real-time energy storage management software to optimise the production of electricity according to the needs of the grid.
The battery energy storage system is part of the ‘Nouvelle France Industrielle’ project, a scheme launched by the French government in 2013. Alstom and Saft have already collaborated on the smart grid demonstration project Nice Grid (in Nice, France), installing in late 2013 a 1 MW battery energy storage system to address the risk of grid instability in the event of a huge influx of intermittent solar energy.